There is no substitute for due diligence when contemplating the purchase of unimproved land. If possible, engage the services of professionals to assist in the process. Use the expertise of each professional, but do not assume that one professional can answer questions in the area of another’s proficiency.
We recommend that the following professional services be considered before purchasing unimproved land:
- A Realtor to identify properties in the preferred area and provide comparable sale prices for your consideration – make sure he is working for you and not the seller
- An Attorney to protect your legal interests in a purchase agreement – if necessary, negotiate a fee for contract review only
- An Architect or Civil Engineer to assess whether the land being considered is suitable for the intended use
If it is not feasible to hire an Architect or Civil Engineer, then take the time to go to the city and ask questions. Request a meeting with officials in the Building Inspection, Zoning, Public Work and Fire Marshall’s offices. Depending on the scope of your project, there could be many questions for these officials, but here are a few important areas to address:
- Is the property located in the flood plain or flood way?
- Is the property zoned for religious use?
- Is the site adequate in size for the proposed building?
- Are public utilities readily accessible?
- Once improved, does the site have adequate drainage?
- Will a fire hydrant have to be installed?
- Is site work approval and construction required before a building permit?
Call us for a more detailed explanation of potential concerns in these areas. We can provide the necessary information to formulate appropriate questions for professionals and government officials, or speak with them on your behalf.
Remember, if you don’t understand it, don’t sign it! Call us before you begin planning your project.
Let us be a part of your team from start to finish!